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DeShields joins Blue Devils' football

When highly touted freshman girls basketball prospect Diamond DeShields enrolled at Norcross earlier this summer, speculation immediately began about whether her older brother would follow suit.

That question was answered after Norcross football coach Keith Maloof confirmed a published report Thursday that two-sport standout Delino DeShields Jr. has enrolled at the school. He is expected to be with the Blue Devils when they begin preseason conditioning Saturday.

Beyond that, however, Maloof said he doesn't know much about the older DeShields sibling than what he's heard and read.

"He seems to be a good kid," Maloof said. "But I really don't know much about him. We've got to get the kid in here and get him in pads and see what he can do."

Based on his junior season at his former school, Woodward Academy, DeShields - the son of former major league baseball player Delino DeShields - should be able to do a lot for the Blue Devils this fall.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound rising senior ran for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns on 85 carries - an average of 10.3 yards per carry - in helping Woodward to an 8-4 record and a second-round appearance in the Class AAA state playoffs.

Combined with his athleticism, including a posted 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash, DeShields has earned a three-star rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com recruiting services.

He also has scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Stanford, Central Florida and Connecticut, while others like Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have also reportedly shown interest.

The addition of DeShields should bolster the Blue Devils' backfield, which also has up-and-coming junior Kendrix Huitt set to compete for the starting tailback job vacated by University of Maryland-bound all-county selection D.J. Adams.

"He and Kendrix could complement each other," said Maloof, who said DeShields may also work with the Norcross secondary on defense. "But again, I haven't see him in pads yet. So, I don't know."

DeShields also figures to help out the Norcross baseball team, though Blue Devils coach Andy Collins isn't exactly sure where yet.

"I've met him one time - he came by about a week and a half ago," Collins said. "I know he's played infield, and he's played center field during the summer from what he said. So, we'll have to see.

"I'd be excited for him to come out (for the team in the spring). I hope it works out."

DeShields worked out well in his previous two seasons at Woodward, helping the War Eagles to the Class AAAA state quarterfinals as a sophomore and to the second round of the Class AAA playoffs last spring.

He hit .590 with nine home runs and 17 stolen bases as a sophomore third baseman at Woodward, and hit .370 last season and is rated a three-star prospect for the 2010 draft class by Baseball America.